BY SILAS NKALA
Capafare Investments, a company contracted by Rio Zim’s Murowa Diamonds mining firm in Zvishavane, has for the past five months failed to pay its workers.
The development has sucked in Murowa Diamonds after the workers employed by Capafare Investment refused to leave the mine compound without being paid.
Zimbabwe Diamond Allied and Mineral Workers Union secretary-general Justice Chinhema confirmed the developments yesterday.
“Murowa Diamonds contracted companies to provide workers who do various jobs. One of them, Capafare Investment is contracted to do general work in and around the mine. It employs about 82 workers. On Thursday, Murowa Diamonds terminated the contract of 43 workers saying that they were no longer wanted at Murowa Mine,” Chinhema said.
“These workers have gone for five months without payment. So the workers said they cannot go out of the mine without being paid. They stayed inside the mine premises from Wednesday up to Friday. We engaged on Thursday, but the management refused us entry into the mine. The management of that contracted company came to the mine to negotiate with the workers. Their workers said they wanted to be paid full salaries and benefits and will not leave if they are not paid. On Friday evening, we are told that Murowa mine called the anti-riot police to remove the workers from the mine.”
Chinhema accused Murowa Mine of failing to pay its service providers, who in turn, failed to pay their workers.
In a letter dated August 12 directed to Capafare Investments, Murowa Diamonds’ human resources superintendent Munyaradzi Murowa, however, updated the contractor on the payment of outstanding invoices to Capafare.
“Pursuant to the meeting held on August 12 between the management of RZM Murowa, Capafare Investments employees’ representatives, RZM Murowa Diamond committed to make the following payments to Capafare Investments for outstanding invoices to date. Payment of $11 026 063,76 for all submitted outstanding Zimbabwean dollars invoices, payment of all submitted outstanding US$ invoices totalling to US$112 874,50 as follows, US$60 000 on, or by August 16 and the balance of US$52 874,50 to be paid in full in two monthly instalments by no later than October 2022,” read the letter.
“As at the time of this letter, the $11 026 063,76 has since been paid in full as agreed. Based on the good faith and commitments, it is our considered position that any action by Capafare employees such as blocking the gate, sit-ins, etc be stopped immediately and work resume as contracted with yourselves.”
Murowa Diamonds pleaded for the impasse to be resolved amicably, saying any industrial action by Capafare workers would be unprofessional and illegal.
“We further advise that the contractor impress this clear position on its employees as RZM Murowa has a contractual relationship with the contractor and not its employees,” read the letter. Efforts to get a comment from Capafare director Julius Hove were fruitless as his mobile phone was continually busy.